Seeking to reverse a financial tailspin, Motorola is revamping the Razr cell phone that has defined the company's rise and fall of the past few years.
The Razr 2 was unveiled with a number of upgrades to other top-line handsets. Executives said that the best path to success was to add features and improve performance with more robust software and hardware within a stylish device.
The challenge after the slender Razr, nearly 100 million of which have been sold, was "What's after thin? How thin can you take it? What's next with form?" said Ed Zander, the embattled chief executive who recently fended off a proxy fight by Carl Icahn.
The answer, Motorola has apparently decided, is another Razr rather than a completely new device.
"This is a brand that we will continue to market for many years to come," said Zander. "We wanted to keep what people loved about Razr. We wanted to make it slimmer, but make it more stunning."
To that end, the Razr 2 features big jumps in processor speed and screen brightness, both of which are 10 times greater compared with the original Razr.
The company also has added a 2-inch display to the outside of the Razr 2, calling it the biggest external screen on a flip phone.
The user interface, an attribute often criticized with the original Razr, has been completely redesigned for easier access to the assorted multimedia functions. The company also is adding a newly developed technology called Crystal Talk to improve phone call quality, which Zander said remains the most basic function of a cell phone.
The Razr 2 will be introduced in Asia during July, and elsewhere later in the summer. The company did not name the cell phone companies that would be featuring the device, which will come in versions compatible with the two leading wireless technologies.